Book 11 – Darkness, be my Friend by John Marsden

Darkness. Be My Friend - John Marsden‘Darkness, be my Friend’ is the fourth book in the ‘Tomorrow Series’. You can find the reviews for the first book ‘Tomorrow, when the war began’ here, the second book ‘The Dead of the Night’ here and the third book ‘The Third Day, the Frost’ here.

As stated in the last review, what they have done at Cobbler’s Bay has had huge consequences and they’ve paid a high price. They made the perfect getaway after they blew up the marina, they are hiding out in an abandoned junk yard. Thanks to the junk yard they are able to hide the car in plain sight, find a safe place to hide out when the junk yard’s being searched. The look-out they have created gives them a perfect view of the surounding area.

During the time that they can move around safely in the junk yard they break into the office annex house where they find a room filled to the brim with electronic devices and radios. They try to make contact with someone – anyone – who can help them even though they know that it’s a huge risk they are taking. Especially after the destruction of Cobbler’s Bay and the enemy who’s now for sure out for their blood. They are able to contact a man who makes sure that their story is known by the New Zealand Military – who have been fighting with the Aussies against the enemy but so far haven’t been making much progress. They are able to tell the Kiwi’s what they did, yet at that moment in time they aren’t in a position to help them, especially since they are just civilians.

Lee, who’s always been a little bit of a loner, leaves the junk yard during the day to make hikes while the other’s are at the junk yard. What he sees one day spurs them all into action. The enemy is literally going from one house to the next with dogs, obviously looking for them. And at the rate they are going they will be at the junk yard in a matter of days if not hours. Ellie and her friends leave the junk yard behind in a rush, hoping that they can escape the net that is tightening around them, their only option is to use the car. However using it also imposes a huge risk and in the end they are caught. Ellie is sure that they will be executed on the spot, instead they are send to Stratton Prison. Homer and Ellie are immediately separated and put in solitary confinement. Days turn into weeks and months, when they are finally brought in for interrogation. They come face to face with someone from their past. Someone who they thought had perished in the massive explosion at Fi’s old street in Wirrawee. He’s the one who decides that they will be executed when they are no longer of use to him. While they are counting down the hours  to their dead the Kiwi’s are preparing an air strike. Large parts of Stratton are bombed – Stratton was filled with factories before the war which have now been put to good use by the enemy. Part of the prison goes down as well and they escape.

They have seen hard times before, even moments where they thought that they would never survive another day. Yet nothing could have prepared them for this moment. This is a moment which in my honest opinion changes a lot, it defines who they become. It is a turning point in their journey, even more than the fact that the war broke out and they have been separated from their parents and siblings. This is the moment where they are paying the highest price they have paid so far. Robyn doesn’t make it out. In fact, she took her own life to protect and safe her friends, she paid the ultimate prize. It gave the others just enough time to make their getaway. They flee as fast as they can, all of them are wounded one way or another and in pretty bad shape but they somehow make it out.

Eventually they are picked up by a helicopter who brings them to New Zealand. The Kiwi’s know about the things they’ve done and the sacrifices they’ve made and they see them as true heroes. They are able to recover from their wounds – both physically and mentally – and get the help they need in whichever way they want. Whatever they ask for they’ll get even if it is a vacation or a trip. Deep down they know that it’s only a matter of time before things will change again. This situation is only temporary.

It’s a matter of time before the other shoe drops. Ellie, Lee, Homer, Kevin and Fi have been in New Zealand for six months when they’re introduced to a team of soldiers. A team of highly trained and specialized soldiers are being deployed to the Wirrawee area in hopes that they will be able to destroy the airfield which the enemy has been building. Ellie, Homer, Kevin, Fi and Lee are ‘asked’ to go back with them, of course it’s not really a question and they know it. It’s trivial that they go. The Kiwi’s are counting on their knowledge of the Wirrawee area to safely guide them from Hell to the airfield.

Ellie doesn’t want to go back, she’s obviously dealing with PTSD and isn’t prepared yet to put herself back into the danger of the war. She feels that they’ve done enough and lost enough people around them. It doesn’t matter however and eventually Ellie agrees too, they are going back home. The choice has been mad to put the helicopter down in one of the paddocks on Ellie’s farm. From there she’s going to lead the soldiers and her friends back to Hell. It’s only when the Kiwi’s are getting ready to make the hike to the airfield that they tell Lee and Ellie that they want them to guide them through Wirrawee.

All they know is that the soldiers are going to do something with the airfield but they have no mission details. It’s to ensure that they can’t give away any details if something happened to them. They leave Hell, Homer, Fi and Kevin stay behind. From the moment they leave the safety of Hell everything goes wrong, literally everything. Ellie’s PTSD is bringing them all in danger. Which means that one of the soldiers is asked she’s to bring her back to hell – for her own and their safety – while Lee’s asked to guide the rest of them through Wirrawee. When Ellie returns to Hell’s she has to tell the other three what happened. The next night they anxiously await what’ll happen, hoping that they’ll be able to see what the Kiwi’s have planned for the airfield. But nothing happens … there is absolutely no sign of an uproar. No one returns in the next couple of days, not even Lee – who they knew wasn’t going to be allowed to go with the Kiwi’s to the airfield.

So, what happened? What went wrong, why didn’t anything happen and most importantly where is Lee?

I guess you’re really going to have to read the books to find out.


4 thoughts on “Book 11 – Darkness, be my Friend by John Marsden

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